Belfast Telegraph

I'd settle for just one more new face: Jose

 

By Simon Peach

Jose Mourinho is not expecting to get what he wants this summer, but the Manchester United manager insists only bringing in one more player is "not a drama".

The wheels have threatened to come off during the pre-season tour of the United States, with the Portuguese becoming increasingly outspoken and irritated by a variety of matters.

Transfers are arguably chief among the issues as United have so far only managed to bring in Brazil midfielder Fred, raw full-back Diogo Dalot and third-choice goalkeeper Lee Grant.

Mourinho admitted he wants another two new signings in a bid to launch an improved Premier League title challenge by the August 9 deadline, but attempted to downplay the frustrations of getting only one.

Asked if he was confident he would get both, he said: "No. I am confident I'll get one. I am confident I'll get one, but I think I won't get two, which is not a drama.

"I think in every pre-season it happens with every club, which is the manager wants more. It's our nature - you always want more for your team.

"But then club decisions are different and normally you don't get what you want, which has happened during all my career. So if I get one player, that's fine."

Mourinho gave United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward his list of "five names a few months ago" and is now playing the waiting game.

Imposing Leicester centre-back Harry Maguire and Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld have been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford, as have a variety of other defenders.

"More or less I know (my best team)," the United boss said. "It's not going to be very different. We have basically the same players.

"The players that we have bought, one is goalkeeper cover, another one is a 19-year-old kid. So we have one new player, which is Fred."

Fred made his first United appearance off the bench in Saturday's 4-1 friendly loss to Liverpool after enjoying his post-World Cup downtime.

Mourinho is without a number of players who reached the latter stages in Russia, and made clear his preference that they cut their breaks early to aid preparations for the season opener against Leicester on August 10.

The rescheduling of that match to a Friday compounded the United manager's frustrations over the early start date of a season that for the first time will see the transfer window end before the campaign begins.

"I agree that when the Premier League starts, the window should close," Mourinho. "I am not a fan of a player starting with one club and a couple of weeks later he moves to another and plays against his former club.

"What I don't like is that the Premier League starts now. You look to other countries with lots of players in the World Cup, they start later. Spain, Italy, they start later, and the Premier League should do that."

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